I was late to the Casey Kelleher party but boy have I been having a ball since I arrived! So I was uber delighted to be offered a slot on the blog tour for the latest in the Byrne family series, #TheBroken.
Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the review copy.
Before I tell you what I think, here’s what the official blurb has to say:
They took her dad, but she won’t let them take her.
Nancy Byrne was the apple of her daddy’s eye. He might have been one of the most feared gangsters in London, yet Jimmy Byrne idolised his little Nancy. But now Jimmy is dead, gunned down in cold blood – and Nancy vows to avenge his death.
She’s only twenty years old, but as the new head of the ruthless Byrne gang, running a lucrative world of drugs, sex and violence, she’s in over her head. Keeping her family together all while Joanie, her beloved grandma, falls apart, and her brother Daniel goes off the rails forces Nancy to grow up – fast.
But while Nancy takes the men on at their own game, there’s a greater danger hiding on the dark streets. Jimmy’s killer is on her trail – and will stop at nothing to shut her up.
Blood might be thicker than water, but soon, Nancy realises she can’t trust anyone. Not even her own family.
Especially her own family.
A gritty, gripping read full of shocking thrills and suspense – readers of Mandasue Heller, Martina Cole and Jessie Keane will be addicted until the very last page.
Well after reading that I’m feeling kind of broken! In a good way of course! Casey Kelleher has just taken me on a breakneck journey where I certainly read past my bedtime and spent the whole day at work worrying about one of the characters at one point such is this woman’s exceptional talent at writing realistic and totally compelling grit lit!
The Broken starts off with that killer hook that just grabs you and drags you straight into the plot. Nancy Byrne is seeking some solitude from the crowds that have gathered at her father’s wake. But perhaps a walk along a deserted canal was not the best idea that she had had that day. Someone is determined to warn her off looking any further for the murderer. Her dad, Jimmy Byrne, one of the top faces in London has been murdered and Nancy is determined to bring the killer to justice but her hunt will unearth secrets and lies and a whole hornet’s nest of mistrust and deceit.
The Betrayed, the first book in the series, introduced us to the Byrne family but with Jimmy’s demise there have been a few changes to the pecking order; the staunch and hard faced matriarch, Joannie Byrne has fallen to pieces since the murder of her son, Michael Byrne is lording it up now that his son is not there to keep him in line and his wife Joannie is no longer her sharp tongued self and Jimmy’s wife, Colleen has stepped up to the plate to care for her mother in law in her time of need. OMG, these family dynamics are dynamite!
Nancy is certainly a chip off the old block, her father’s steely determination and ruthlessness are clearly in her blood as she is quick to step up to the plate and take over his business dealings now that he is gone; her brother Daniel is hellbent on self-destruct mode and the family scenes in this book just highlight what a jaw-droppingly dysfunctional lot they are! Seriously you will be reading this with your mouth hanging open…but you best watch your heart doesn’t fall out of your mouth as that’s where it is going to be sitting throughout this read! It soon becomes clear that nobody is to be trusted, not even your own family!
Along with the Byrne family dynamics, The Broken brings us prostitution, drug dealing, and murder in the streets of London reminiscent of the days of the Kray twins. A whole host of seedy and downright nasty characters are introduced in this hard-hitting, gritty and realistic picture of reality for some of those who seek the streets paved with gold. At times this is not an easy read and my stomach was churning at points in the book, this was a good thing, seriously, Casey has created a cast of characters in this book that I am emotionally invested and engaged with; I care about what happens to them (to the point that I spent the whole day worrying about one of them at one point!); I understand the thirst for revenge and I found myself cheering at times when some well-deserved revenge was meted out! I cannot find the words to say how much I love this series, these characters, the storylines and the sense of realism that Casey Kelleher has created. If you like your crime brutally raw and honest, heartwarming and heartbreaking then this one is for you!
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About Casey Kelleher:
Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole.
Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time.
She has since published Rise and Fall, Heartless, Bad Blood, The Taken, The Promise, The Betrayed and her latest release The Broken is due for publication on the 22nd February 2018.
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